Wow. This is much more than I thought I was getting myself into... so my WHOLE LIFE is going to change? I thought I was just going to get a nicer stomach and... and... Really, I knew this was about making a big change in my life, I guess it just feels more real now. And we haven't really even started.
When I arrived, there were already several dozen or more people waiting outside - still a half an hour early - and my first reaction was, "I don't belong here. These are those really PHYSICAL people - the dancers, the athletes... there's no computer geeks ANYWHERE!!!" Even though I'm starting to have more of a connection with my physical self, my self image is still that of a non-physical, "stay-inside" type person. As I waited through the next half an hour, more and more and more super fit people showed up (and a few people that looked a bit more like I do...), and I just couldn't believe how many of us there are. 226 people.
We got to hear introductory speeches from everyone, most notably Bikram's wife Rajashree and his daughter, who called her father "a psycho" and then we sung happy birthday to her. We also got a short talk from several of the teachers including Craig, who was very emboldening. He also stressed how those of us (me VERY much included) who don't have the dialog memorized and effortless are going to have difficulty, so though he made me feel stronger with the rest of his talk, the net result is that I'm MORE terrified than I was.
I live with 4 other roommates in a 2 bedroom suite at the Toluca Lake Oakwood Estates, and it's pretty nice, although cramped. I have two roommates Am and Benz (unknown spelling) from Thailand, who insist they would like to cook for us, and I'm sharing a room with two guys, Daniel and Derrick, both American. I don't know very much about them yet, but it feels just like University felt freshman year - all excited, grand imagination about how big/overwhelming/awesome everything's going to be, living in close quarters with total strangers. Of course, now that I know that I am a loud sleeper, I worry for their sanity and whether or not I'll get stabbed or suffocated in my reverberating sleep.
Tomorrow we meet Bikram. He's been suitably overhyped at this point, I'm assuming he'll levitate into the room, and then breathe fire over us while he sprouts dragon wings. Or something like that.